FanDuel NBA Value Plays: Monday (3/12)
Welcome to another edition of Monday’s NBA value plays! We have a tiny four-game slate tonight making it even more important to get creative and find a way to separate your lineup. Looking over the positions it seems like point guard offers the least amount of value tonight so spending up there would be a benefit, but there is some solid value in the other positions. There’s not a whole lot on the injury side as of now. James Harden is expected to go. Steven Adams is listed as questionable. LaMarcus Aldridge, Hassan Whiteside, and Tyreke Evans are all listed out. As always though keep a close eye on player status in your lineups all the way to tip-off. This article will include player values of $5,500 or less and allow you to spend up on the few core plays available tonight. With it being the week of March Madness I wish everyone luck with their bracket endeavors and tonight’s slate!
Tyler Johnson (MIA): $4,900 @ POR
With the point guard position being light on value, Tyler Johnson is a guy that could at least provide a solid floor. Tonight will be his fourth game back from a quad injury, and he’s logged at least 25 minutes in each of the past three games. With Dwayne Wade more than likely being held out tonight, some extra minutes could open up for Johnson which would also help. Portland is solid against the position ranking 10th in defense against point guards, but Johnson is a dynamic scorer who can supplement his scoring in peripheral stats like assists and rebounding. He’s scored in double-figures in each of the past three games averaging 15 points per game during that stretch. He’s a safe bet to log at least 25 minutes tonight, which would make him worthy of a spot in your lineup if deciding to spend down at this position.
Tony Parker (SAS): $4,000 @ HOU
With the Spurs fighting for their playoff life and Manu Ginobili out tonight, Tony Parker could find himself with a bit more playing time off the bench. San Antonio will need scoring if they have any hopes of keeping up with Houston who ranks just 24th against the point guard position. Parker ranks fourth on the Spurs in usage rate according to NBA.com, and two of the players above him? LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who are both out for tonight. Even if he doesn’t get a ton of playing time, when he’s on the court he sees the ball often. His assist numbers have been a rise over the past three games, as he’s averaging over five assists per game during that stretch, and this matchup should allow for a bump in points as well. It seems 20 minutes of playing time is Parker’s magic number. The past five games he’s seen at least 20 minutes off the bench he’s averaged 13 points and four assists per game resulting in an average of 24.2 FanDuel (FD) points per game during that stretch. He’s a good bet to see 20 minutes tonight, which increases the chance he’d get to his 5x value of 20 FD points.
Ben McLemore (MEM): $5,000 vs MIL
Ben McLemore has been a rare bright spot for a Memphis team that finds itself dead last in the league. This actually bodes well for McLemore’s prospects in DFS as the Grizz will be content allowing the youngster to play as much as he can. He’s certainly shown he’s capable as well averaging 14 points, five rebounds and two assists per game in the five games since he’s started seeing 30 or more minutes (averaging 33 minutes per game). These stats have led to a robust 30.3 FD points per game average during that span. So even at the $5,000 mark, he’s still averaging more FD points than his 5x value mark of 25. McLemore draws a matchup with a Bucks team that ranks a respectable 13th against the position, but don’t let that deter you from a young player trying to prove he belongs.
Eric Gordon (HOU): $5,500 vs SAS
Even though James Harden is expected to play tonight, Eric Gordon still finds himself on this list due to the fact he ranks third on the team in percentage of team points behind only Chris Paul and Harden. Gordon has logged at least 25 minutes in six consecutive games as the Rockets sixth man and has produced an average of 20 points and three rebounds per game during that stretch. This production has led to an average of 28.6 FD points per game over the past six which exceeds the targeted 5x value of 27.5 for this evening. As if more reasons would be necessary to consider Gordon as a value play tonight, the Rockets will not want to take any chances with Harden’s knee soreness so it’s possible they could limit his time. Also, the Spurs will be rolling with a “B” team, which could allow the Rockets to separate early providing Gordon more time on the court. Both of these scenarios are feasible, but one thing is constant, Gordon will play a lot and he will put up a number of shots.
Rudy Gay (SAS): $4,400 @ HOU
Rudy Gay is listed at a very affordable $4,400 tonight, which would require him to get just 22 FD points to reach 5x value. He’s reached that in four of the past five games. San Antonio will be without LaMarcus Aldridge tonight which opens up minutes and points for other players. Gay ranks third on the team in usage rate and percent of the teams total points, which makes him a prime candidate to see an increase in usage while Aldridge is out. He should definitely see at least 20 minutes of action tonight which would bode well for Gay who has averaged 16 points and six rebounds per game over the past three games he’s logged at least 20 minutes resulting in a 29.7 FD point average.
Justise Winslow (MIA): $5,000 @ POR
There are a plethora of stats and reasons Justise Winslow finds himself on this list. I’ll just list a few, though. Reason one, he’s started March off like a lion shooting 52.6 percent from the field averaging 12.7 points per game. Reason two, over the past eight games he’s averaged 11 points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal per game. Reason three, Dwayne Wade and Hassan Whiteside have both already been ruled out for tonight, leaving more minutes and opportunity for Winslow to produce. As you can see Winslow would be a no-brainer tonight, he’s averaged 29.7 FD points per game over the past six games, which is far more than the 25 he would need to get 5x value tonight.
Kelly Olynyk (MIA): $5,100 @ POR
Kelly Olynyk appears to have returned to form over the past five games. His lowest FD point total during that stretch is 22.3, and he’s averaged 29.9 FD points per game during that stretch. So it’s easy to see why he appears on this list as yet another Miami Heat player that could provide value tonight. He’s scored in double figures in four of the past five and recorded a double-double in his last outing against the Wizards. While he’s yet to exceed 25 minutes of playing time since returning from injury seven games ago, he excels in rebounding (averaging six rebounds per game) which helps supplement his scoring. On top of that, he has a good matchup against a Portland team that ranks 28th against the position. Olynyk will need just 25.5 FD points to get to 5x value tonight. Given his recent performances (exceeded 25 FD points in four of the past five) this should be very achievable.
Bam Adebayo (MIA): $3,500 @ POR
Yes, it definitely seems like there’s a theme here with Heat players. Normally Adebayo wouldn’t appear in this article, but an injury to Hassan Whiteside has forced my hand. When Adebayo is asked to step in for Whiteside he seems to be very successful, so he may be a very trendy pick tonight given the excellent value with his bargain-basement price. In games where Adebayo plays at least 25 minutes, he’s been a monster. Here are his averages over the past five games he’s logged at least 25 minutes…14 points, nine rebounds and two assists resulting in an average of 34.3 FD points per game. No other evidence is really necessary, although a matchup with a Portland team that ranks 23rd against centers (position Adebayo would likely play) doesn’t hurt. Just know he’ll likely be widely owned in lineups.
Kosta Koufos (SAC): $4,500 @ OKC
There isn’t a lot of value available at the center position this evening so Kosta Koufos appears here simply because of his recent performances. The reason for optimism tonight is because Willie Cauley-Stein returned to the lineup last night against Denver so Koufos was relegated back to a bench role and still produced a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) in just 19 minutes of action resulting in 29 FD points. This game has potential to get ugly early, which could lead to more court time for Koufos. However, he did make it clear he doesn’t need a lot of time to be productive, grabbing at least 10 rebounds in three consecutive games while averaging 25 minutes over that stretch. He’ll need 22.5 FD points to get 5x value, which he’ done in three straight games.
Chris Berg is a correspondent at FantasyPros. You can follow him on Twitter @bergey13.